LeBron James was ejected for the first time in his 15-year career during the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 108-97 win over the Miami Heat on Tuesday night. James was angry about a no-call on a drive to the basket in the third quarter, and was tossed by official Kane Fitzgerald after arguing the call.
After the game, James continued to express his frustration with the officials, telling the media that the officials “are trying to turn me into a jump shooter.”
— clevelanddotcom Cavs (@PDcavsinsider) November 29, 2017
“I think I’m one of the league leaders in points in the paint. I drive just as much as anybody. At this point, it’s like almost they’re trying to turn me into a jump shooter. And I’m not a jump shooter. I watch games every single night, and I see jump shooters going to the line double-digit times every single night. And I’m not a jump shooter, and I get fouled just like everybody else do. So, you know, going to the line one time, three times, four times, that’s not what it’s about.”
After averaging at least seven free throw attempts per game 12 times in his career, James is averaging a career-low 5.6 free throws attempts per game this season. Per 100 possessions, James entered Tuesday night attempting 7.5 free throws per game, when his career average over 100 possessions is 11.1 attempts per game.
James’ game is so much about driving to the basket and using his 6’8″, 250-pound frame try to overpower defenders (and he usually does). So, if perhaps he’s correct and teams are getting away with more contact to try to slow him down, that could certainly hurt his production a bit.
But, The King has still been just fine overall this season, with the league’s third-best scoring average at 28.6 points per game, and the top Player Efficiency Rating in the NBA.